If you have a home listed for sale – and you use your fireplace – listen up!
In the Winter months we use our gas fireplace every night, which keep the living area – and our cats nice and toasty. Our fireplace is retrofitted with a double U-shaped burner under a bed of multicolored glass chunks. It’s beautiful – and produces double the BTUs of a conventional gas log fireplace. It can also be deadly under just the right conditions…
We had our home inspected last week in the process of selling it.
For several nights thereafter, I noticed an unusual odor while using our gas fireplace – and the house was getting far too hot. … And we were both falling asleep in front of the TV.
Tonight after lighting the fireplace I noticed the same thing and had a hunch.
Upon checking I found the flu was CLOSED.
The home inspector hired by the buyers of our house left our flu in the closed position after checking it. (You can be sure he won’t do that again.)
Immediately I opened the flu and several windows to air out the house.
We have CO detectors in our home. It’s code almost everywhere to have these installed. The problem is, they are generally installed on the ceiling or high on a wall. By the time the carbon monoxide level reaches the detector in a high enough concentration to trigger the sensor, you are probably unconscious. By the time the alarm goes off, you are likely to be in need of O2 therapy and possibly an ER visit. Depending on your own health complications, you may be in a more serious condition than healthier folks.
We could have died from the carbon monoxide (CO) buildup.
You cannot smell CO. It is odorless and colorless – and kills numerous people every year. The odor I noticed was the fireproof paint on the flu damper as a result of it being super-heated.
Always check your flu after a home inspection if you regularly use your fireplace.